I have an Alienware M15x, 940MX processor, 16 GB RAM, 512GB M4 SSD, and I was running Win7 64bit. I backed up the disk and ran Win 8 setup. Setup appeared to go well through multiple reboots.
After the last reboot, it simply stopped after POST at "Press F2 for bios setup". I have tried powering off, reducing RAM to one stick, removing MOS battery. Now, it gets to the screen with "Press F2 for setup" and "Press F12 for boot options". If I press F2, I get a single beep only. If I press F12, nothing. I cannot get into the BIOS to change boot options to boot from another disk and restore.
I do have the latest BIOS. I am going to try replacing the CMOS battery, but I don't think that is likely to help. The computer has been fast and very reliable until now.
I checked CMOS battery - normal. I pulled hard disk, and can get into bios. Hard disk was set to AHCI. I changed it to ATA - still hangs. I was able to change boot order, but I don't have a clear way to creates a Win 8 boot disk or USB. I can pull the hard disk and put it on another machine and retrieve the downloaded Win 8 files, but how can I then create a Win 8 boot disk. It appears that Win 8 has done something evil to my expensive SSD.
Joe Addendum - connected drive to another computer via USBn - not recognized. I connected it via eSATA, and it blocked the other machine from booting. Seems like Win 8'has bricked my expensive SSD. Thanks, Microsoft!